People Are Itching For Normalcy, But When?
May 4, 2020

Alright, enough already. We've been sheltering in place for going on two months now, and we're tired of it. Not only is the weather nice, but coronavirus cases are dropping, or so it seems. We've been cooped up, we're broke, and we want to go back to work. Maybe we'll wear a mask, maybe we won't. You can't tell us what to do. If you've been watching the news lately, this is what you've been seeing. You can kind of understand why.

Even local governments are starting to defy statewide stay at home orders. Yuba and Sutter counties (Marysville and Yuba City, respectively) have officially lifted many stay-at-home restrictions. The malls are open. Nail salons have been told they can operate, and the courts are back in business. Social distancing is expected, of course, but those rules are not in accordance with the governor's, and the state. Expect more conflict in the coming weeks.

Tiny Modoc county, in the northeastern corner of California, is more defiant, and people there have had enough. There are no Covid-19 cases, and the population of about nine thousand has pretty much been told by their local leaders to go ahead and do whatever they want. Even their local Congressman, who also represents ten other counties, has given his blessing. The gauntlet has been dropped. They are pretty much saying “neener-neenerr-neener” to Governor Newsom, and asking, “What are you going to do about it?”

It could get uglier. A co-worker who has an in-law that runs a nail salon in Yuba City told me that they received a threatening letter from the state, that if they go ahead and open, like Sutter County says they can, they will lose their license. You've seen the demonstrations on the news. Some are even taking the extreme an extreme view that 'King Gavin' (the governor) is only doing this to control our lives. Balancing public safety with a now non-existent economy is tough.

Nationally, something like 33 states are “opening” their economies. Others, like Michigan, where cases are still increasing, refuse. Many are caught somewhere in the middle. Even Washington state, which once the coronavirus hotbed of the west, is now letting people go back to work. All of this, by the way, while the number of Covid-19 cases in the country have topped a million, and close to 70-thousand people have died.

Let's face it, health officials have a job to do. They are trying to stop a rampant disease that we have never seen before. People don't want to get sick, and when they told to stay at home for the sake of their own health, they gladly obeyed. Locking down the country and observing the new normal of social distancing seems to have worked. It's worked so well, in fact, that people believe the crisis is over. It's not, of course, but where do you draw the line? One way to make sure that there are no deadly car crashes is if no one drives. That's great, but no one gets anywhere.

It's reminiscent of an old David Letterman line. He could say it right now to governors, health leaders, and those who are trying to decide what's best for us as a society. “I wouldn't give their troubles to a monkey on a rock.”

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